Effort post time.
Cheikh Anta Diop (1923–1986) was a Senegalese Egyptologist. His thesis is simple: Egyptians were Africans. His work was initially rejected by the University of Paris but later published in the Présence Africaine. His seminal work is The African Origin of Civilization (1974), wherein he presents his evidence for the African character of Egyptian civilization and how facets of ancient Egyptian culture were adapted by later societies.
My only major critique of this work is that it was written in the 70s. Archeological texts tend to become dated as new discoveries are made, but as a whole Origin is a solid work; just take it with a grain of salt. Diop insists on callling the average Egyptian citizen black, though one should bear in mind that racial categorization that are used to day did not exist in the past and whether or not one was an Egyptian would have been decided on other criteria (language for instance)*. That and it refers to black people as negroid, which I attribute to translation and, once again, it being the 70s.
(*Egyptians recognized several skin colors, tending towards darker shades as one moved up river into Nubia (southward into Africa) which is to be expected.)
Figure 1.) Picture from Book of Gates, Egyptian Funerary Text.
There is bunch of cool insights.
For instance, circumcision. Biblically circumcisions are meant to represent an alliance with the God, however the exact line of reason behind the practice is not explained. Diop notes how Abraham, the forefather of the Jewish people, was circumcised at 90 yrs. after marrying Hagar, and Egyptian woman. Diop asserts that circumcision was a practice integrated into Egyptian society, forming a duality with excision.
In the cosmogony of the Dogon people, a newborn infant is like unto Amma ,the first god, being androygnous in nature. The foreskin and the clitoris were considered characteristics of sex opposite of the apparent sex. It is only after the circumcision/excision is performed that a single sex is fortified into ones being. Amon **, Diop notes, was a primoridal god also androygnous in nature and self-created, being their own father and mother at once. Both cultures represented their respective god with water, humidity, and the ram.
(**there maybe (?) some ambiguity between Amon and another god called Atum, but like I said, its dated. Either way, both are androgynous and self-created.)
Figure 2.) Statue of Amun, British Museum (lol imperialism)
Diop aslo asserts that certain Latin words have origins in African cultures. For instance, the Latin Magnus (great) and the Ghana term Kaya Magan (great king of the Ghana Empire) may have both been derived from the Wolof terms Kay Mag (one who is great) and Mag (great, venerable), which may have been derived from the Egyptian Maka (veteran). Whether or not that bears out I leave to you, Jack.
And that is just the taste. There is much more related to the writing of Herodotus, artifacts, language, Timbuktu, imperialism, the totemic nature of gods, the stone cults of the Serer, Abrahamic religions, Babylonians, burial rights, bronze age economics, and Roman incursions.
So yeah, Diop was a cool guy.
I see a bunch of stuff on this site related to the Ancient Egyptian civilization that is cleary well meaning, though not the best informed. If I had to guess there was teacher who read this book in the past then related it to their students who then post on this site, like a drawn out game of telephone.
Friends who might enjoy this book: Jack (to assauge the butthurt), Anna (you could probably read the original french ver.), Samuel, Lindsay, Laura, Emily.